Ukrainian metallers Jinjer, who recently were given special permission to tour as ambassadors of their country, are among those who have been affected by the ongoing war in their homeland.
In a new interview with Chaoszine, bassist Eugene Abdukhanov recalls one terrifying moment which saw him faced with the realities of the conflict when it first began.
Adukhanox explains: "I met the war exactly when it started. On the 24th [of February] at five o'clock in the morning, I was just driving and things around me started exploding. I got straight under the shelling, under the attack, and I thought, 'This is the end.'
"I was trying to get out of there, driving 180 kilometres on a very narrow road. It was still dark. And I saw things that I, before that, only saw in movies — huge explosions with all these pieces flying around. And they were falling right in front of me, and I was driving around them, and all the smoke around. It was like a real horror, but you're a part of it."
He continues, "I was on the way back to Kyiv, and I was just trying to get home as soon as possible. And I saw all these traffic jams — people were trying to get out of the city — and all the destruction because of the first attack. And then the first week was the most horrible time because nobody knew what was happening. I got home, and one of the first things which I did, I contacted everyone in the band. We made a post on social media. And everyone stayed home.
"Every half an hour, there was a siren. We went to the basement. I went to the basement alone, because I was staying alone — I took my family out. I was alone, just sitting, watching the news and going crazy. Then every half an hour, I'd go to the basement, then go up, basement, up, spend half of the night in the basement. And there [were] huge explosions all around. Things that [weren't] even close the first night — like, five kilometers, ten kilometers away from me. This is not close; in our reality, this is not close. But [because of] how massive those explosions were, the land was shaking.
"The real horror started to happen, "And this is basically when the siege of Kyiv started. And the next very day, I just felt like stating our position [publicly] and claiming our position. I made that video which is on YouTube. I wasn't able to realize things like that could happen."
Speaking of Jinjer returning to the road, he says: "Well, it has its pros and cons. On the one hand, being onstage for this 45[-minute], 50[-minute] or one-hour [set] is the perfect therapy for me, and it's the only time I can forget about the war — just playing music and connecting with the crowd.
"Because all the other time, my mood really goes up and down constantly — it swings back and forth, back and forth. And I may feel absolutely okay at one point, but after a few minutes I'm totally depressed — depressed in the way that I can barely act. And being able to play is definitely a cure."
Watch the full interview below:
Jinjer are on the road for a run of European festival appearances, including one at Bloodstock on August 13.
In April the Ukrainian metallers raised $150,000 for war victims when they released two charity shirts.
Jinjer tour dates:
Jun 24: Oslo (NO) Tons Of Rock
Jun 26: Spalene Porici (CZ) Basinfire Fest
Jun 29: Lisbon (PT) Lav - Lisboa Ao Vivo
Jun 30: Barcelona (ES) Rockfest Barcelona
Jul 01: Viveiro (ES) Resurrection Fest
Jul 03: Helsinki (FI) Tuska Festival
Jul 08: Ballenstedt (DE) Rockharz Open Air
Jul 15: Gävle (SE) Gefle Metal Festival
Jul 16: Bornhöved (DE) Blizzarrrd Rock Festival
Jul 24: Selestat (FR) Rock Your Brain Festival
Jul 27: Tolmin (SI) Metaldays Festival
Aug 04: Kostrzyn Nad Odrą (PL) Polandrock Festival
Aug 05: Villena (ES) Leyendas Del Rock Festival
Aug 06: Saint Maurice De Gourdans (FR) Sylak Open Air
Aug 07: Gdansk (PL) Ergo Arena
Aug 10: Josefov (CZ) Brutal Assault
Aug 13: Walton-On-Trent (UK) Bloodstock Open Air
Aug 19: Dinkelsbühl (DE) Summer Breeze Open Air
Aug 20: Hamburg (DE) Elbriot Festival